A dejected Aizawl FC coach Paulo Menezes on Saturday rued the defending champions' profligacy in front of goal throughout the season, saying if they could have converted half their chances it would have made a world of a difference.
"I say we convert half our chances and it makes us the first team. I am confident of that. We wasted too many chances in too many games," Portuguese Menezes told reporters after their 0-0 draw against second-placed fellow North East side Neroca FC at the Khuman Lampak Main Stadium here on Saturday. Aizawl missed a lot of chances, especially in the second half.
Placed sixth in the points table with five matches to go, Menezes later told IANS that a top-four finish is still a realistic target.
"We want to finish inside top-four from here on. That's the aim. We have had so many injuries to key players in defence. You see today we played with only one proper centre back (Masih Saighani). All others are injured," the coach said.
Aizawl have been winless in their last six outings, their last victory coming against relegation-threatened Chennai City FC at home on January 13.
"We are still in the title race. They (Minerva) can drop points also and we need to stay positive. But we missed a lot of chances today and should have bagged all three points. We cannot drop points at home like this," he said after the match.
In front of 20,345 vociferous spectators, the home team were guilty of wasting a flurry of chances on either side of half-time as they had to be content with one point which meant they remained second in the points table with 28 points from 15 games.
Neroca's hopes of winning the I-League also suffered a jolt as they only have three more matches to go, including a difficult away fixture against East Bengal.
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